Climate Change

Our goal: Reduce carbon emissions

Global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system and is a significant risk to our industry. While New Zealand draws a relatively high amount of electricity from renewable sources, the high-energy demands of wine production have increased the industry’s focus on finding sustainable solutions and alternatives.

Climate change is a significant risk to the New Zealand wine industry. Adopting activities to reduce industry carbon emissions will enable us to:

  • Minimise the carbon footprint of our industry 
  • Meet or exceed the government’s expectations regarding industry responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions
  • Demonstrate leadership around climate change mitigation and adaptation

97% of SWNZ members measured and monitored energy use specific to their vineyard/winery operations

Based on 1688 vineyards and 157 wineries, 2019


Solar panels at Yealands Estate.

What we’re doing

The Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand programme encourages vineyards and wineries to adopt a variety of energy-saving initiatives and practices to reduce their carbon footprint.

The programme benchmarks wineries against each other, providing a starting point to reduce energy costs from practical guidance and steps on how to improve energy performance, and examples of how other similar sized wineries are improving energy use.

In a winery, energy conservation begins with the building. New buildings’ architectural design, material selections, and insulation requirements focus on maximising natural lighting, reducing heat build-up, and maintaining even temperatures year-round.

Upgraded winery buildings feature impressive technologies to assist with energy conservation such as computer-controlled heat pumps, heat recovery systems, variable speed pumps to minimise the energy required to pump wine and water, and motion sensors that switch lights off when there is no activity.

Some businesses have made use of natural renewable energy resources, installing solar panels on their buildings.

In the vineyards, New Zealand viticulturists work hard to cut down the amount of fuels by reducing the number of sprays applications administered with machinery where possible and doubling up on activities when using vehicles in the vineyard.

Many vineyards run sheep and other livestock between the vines as a way of controlling grasses and weeds during the winter months (previously mown) in a natural way with no impact on the environment.

Sustainability in action

See what our grape growers and wineries are doing below to reach our goal

Webpage Fact Sheet Climate Change
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